‘Very insulting!’ Solomon Islands PM dismisses criticism against China amid security talks

‘Very insulting!’ Solomon Islands PM dismisses criticism against China amid security talks

USA News

THE PRIME MINISTER of the Solomon Islands has dismissed criticism after the Oceanic nation entered security negotiations with China.

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Manasseh Sogavare, 67, claimed foreign concerns about negotiations between China and the Solomon Islands were “insulting” and called those who leaked the draft agreement between the two nations “lunatics”. The leak alerted both Australia and New Zealand after both Canberra and Wellington were left worried the deal could lead to instability in the region.

Mr Sogavare did not provide further details about the security deal, according to the Guardian.

However, when pressured later in Parliament, he said it was “ready for signing”.

He also told Parliament on Tuesday: “We find it very insulting, Mr Speaker, to be branded as unfit to manage our sovereign affairs.”

The Prime Minister went on to take aim at the Australian media for suggesting Beijing was pressuring the Oceanic island nation into a treaty.

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'Very insulting!' Solomon Islands PM dismisses criticism against China amid security talks

‘Very insulting!’ Solomon Islands PM dismisses criticism against China amid security talks (Image: Getty)

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping (Image: Getty)

He instead suggested the claims were “unfounded”.

An article from the Brisbane-based tabloid Courier Mail quoted a commentator as saying Australia “must be willing to invade the Solomon Islands and topple its Government if that’s what is necessary to stop a proposed security pact between China and the Pacific nation going ahead”.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also reported to have had a phone call with his Kiwi counterpart Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday.

A readout from Canberra said: “They discussed the proposed Solomon Islands-China security agreement and their shared concerns about any actions they would undermine the security and stability of the Pacific region.

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The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare

The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare (Image: Getty)

He instead suggested the claims were “unfounded”.

An article from the Brisbane-based tabloid Courier Mail quoted a commentator as saying Australia “must be willing to invade the Solomon Islands and topple its Government if that’s what is necessary to stop a proposed security pact between China and the Pacific nation going ahead”.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also reported to have had a phone call with his Kiwi counterpart Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday.

A readout from Canberra said: “They discussed the proposed Solomon Islands-China security agreement and their shared concerns about any actions they would undermine the security and stability of the Pacific region.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Image: Getty)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (Image: Getty)

“There is no devious intention, nor secret plan – this is a decision by a sovereign nation that has its national interest at heart.”

He also claimed the suggestion China’s presence in the region would constitute a security threat was “utter nonsense”.

The Solomon Islands sparked outrage in its capital Honiara after it switched diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing in 2019.

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